The shop manager

What mistakes did Lynn make regarding the appointment of Shelly as the shop manager? What steps should she take in appointing a new shop manager? In the appointment of Shelly as shop manager, at the Nottingham branch of Total Sports, Lynn made a number of fundamental mistakes. This essay will highlight those mistakes made, and will describe a more systematic approach to the recruitment and selection process. It will be shown how correct and considered planning facilitates the decision making process for a new employee.
As stated by the IRS (1999), cited by Beardwell and Holden (2001), there are few more important decisions that an organisation can take, than selecting the right people to join their workforce. This statement is true for any organisation, but as shown in the case study, especially so for Total Sports. With the introduction of the new Fitness Fun brand of products, it was Lynn’s responsibility to ensure this process was carried out efficiently and effectively. However, as shown in the case study, Lynn’s attitude to the mere presence of the shop was one of resentment.
With this initial resentment towards the venture, any recruitment process was sure to fail. If Lynn had specific issues regarding the business, she should have resolved these before recruiting. The business, and not personal goals are one of the stated aims of recruitment to be considered, as stated by Foot and Hook (2002). Two other considerations are the legal and the moral. These refer to compliance of anti-discrimination legislation, and unfair discrimination on moral grounds. At the outset of any recruitment process, these considerations are key.

It is clear that in her decision, Lynn gave no thought to these, and therefore made a poor decision in the appointment. The hiring of Shelly was one of a “known quantity”. The advantages and disadvantages of this informal recruitment method are discussed by Carroll et al, (1999). These include, cost and time considerations and motivational factors. The hiring of friends, or recruiting by word of mouth, may be a more short term cost effective approach, but in this case, gives no consideration to the overall business strategy, or to the imbalances that may exist in the workforce, with regard to race, sex, or disability.
Shelly was previously a receptionist at Total Sports, so she did know the companies’ routines. However this does not mean she would make a good shop manager, as Lynn eventually found out. It is clear that Lynn did not properly plan the appointment of Shelly. As illustrated by Watkins, (2003:p13), it is essential that “recruiters demonstrate the value of the recruitment process”. In order that the right decisions are made, a more strategic system based approach is necessary. The initial stage, as stated by Corbridge and Pilbeam (1998), is the pre-recruitment process.
This encompasses three elements; establishing a case for employment, job analysis, and labour market assessment. As the case study shows, the shop is a new venture, therefore the initial reaction would be to employ from outside the company. This however may not be required. It is possible that existing staff members could have covered the daily shifts in the shop, with Lynn responsible for the management duties. If a job analysis was carried out, it may highlight certain skills that would be required to operate the business effectively.
A labour market assessment would reveal information such as comparative pay rates, which would facilitate financial viability planning for the recruitment of a shop manager. Mullins (2002:p739), confirms the requirement for a job analysis and states that when selecting staff, managers should ask themselves two basic questions. “If you do not know what you are looking for, how will you recognise the suitable person when you see one? ” “If you do not know what you want your staff to do, how can you judge their ability to do a good job, effectively train or develop them, or assess their performance?
” With these two questions, Mullins (2002) is suggesting that, not only a job analysis/description is carried out, but also a person specification should be carried out at the beginning of any systematic approach in the recruitment process. A job description for Lynn’s shop manager would contain information such as; job title, duties and responsibilities, limitations of authority, p of control, salary range, and the date the job description was prepared. The person specification would contain information relating to what the ideal candidates personal attitudes, and qualities would be.
These could include; qualifications, experience appropriate skills, motivation, or personality and temperament. Leopold et al (1999) suggest the use of a technique called a ‘repertory grid’. The elements of this include analysing a persons “job fit”, “team fit”, organisation fit”, and “environment fit” in order to facilitate the decision making. Although this process is thorough, Leopold et al (1999), do emphasise the complexity of the process, and therefore may be too analytical for Lynn’s purposes.
Mullins (2002), does however stress the importance of ensuring any person specification, conforms to equal opportunities legislation, such as sex or race discrimination. In the event of any future legal challenges, this document must conform to legislation, and must be able to be justified. With these two documents, Lynn would be able to highlight whether, as suggested previously, there was an individual already employed by Total Sports who could be promoted.
However due to the managerial and retail nature of the position, it is likely that for Lynn to meet the strategic aims of the business she would have to begin an external recruitment process. As demonstrated previously, planning this process is essential for its success. Simply phoning the local Job Centre may not attract the desired responses. There are a number of options that Lynn should consider. These include, the use of an external recruitment agency or direct advertising.

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